Hi ladies! Today I had a case of the Mondays. Not that my day was bad (although working in finance on a day when the Dow drops 600 points isn’t the most fun) but what I mean is that I was (am) tirrrreeeedddd. Always a problem when I stay out or up late on weekends and sleep in and have to get back to my normal routine. I end up awake at midnight, trying desperately to fall asleep. The result? Getting about 5 hours of lackluster winks.

On days like today, concealer is the most useful tool. I have tried and tested several concealers in my day. After finding holy grail worthy products I have decided to dish what I love, dislike and am undecided on.

First Group of Contenders

Garnier Skin Renew Anti Dark Circle Roller- Grade: B+

I actually *really* like this product. It feels cooling to my eyes in the morning. It’s easy to apply and it’s not thick so application takes just seconds. I prefer this on days when I am going pretty bare faced (hellloooo weekends) and in the summer it’s been nice too because I prefer something light weight. I don’t notice creasing with this product and I don’t set it with a powder.

Sonia Kashuk Hidden Agenda Concealer Palette- Grade: B-

This gets a B- grade because it’s only useful for me as a face concealer because under the eyes it’s a hot mess and doesn’t stay put. As a facial concealer alone, the grade would be B+/A- range. But I have to consider that most gals wouldn’t want to buy two concealers, especially when this one comes with three already. The powder included is very nice for setting. These blend well and hide spots nicely.

Mally Cancellation Conditioning Concealer* Medium- Grade: A-

Another product that I am really happy with. It blends nicely into my skin, fully covers dark circles and spots on the face. It doesn’t crease even if I don’t set it with powder (which I traditionally don’t like to do as powder ages skin and makes me look dried out). I would have given this an A grade if it weren’t for the price point/product amount. I would like to see a little more product for the money here.

Benefit Erase Paste Medium- Grade: C-

It’s the creasing on this product that lowers it’s grade significantly. It covers under eye circles like a dream and the salmon undertone to it really helps. However, this stuff is THICK. I used this in the winter last year. I must have liked it because I used an entire jar. This is my second one (mini version). I find this is WAY too thick to use on the face. It’s not a summer time concealer for me at all. Overall, if this didn’t crease so easily I would give it a much higher grade. AND if it was multipurpose.

Concealer Contenders, Round 2!

Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Medium- Grade: A

This concealer is fantastic. It’s the perfect shade match for me too. It has a great consistency. It’s not watery, nor does it have molasses-like thickness. I like the wand applicator too. There is a reason why this is the concealer I choose to carry in my daily makeup bag. It lasts all day on me without creasing and works in equal measure under the eyes and on the face. Too bad we cannot get this easily in the U.S. thankfully I was able to con the lovely H of 25FLondon to send me one! ;)

TheBalm Time Balm Concealer Medium- Grade: B+

I do like this concealer. The only problem I have found with it so far is it’s just a tad too dark for my skintone. Can’t blame the concealer for that now can I? lol. This concealer is again thanks to the lovely H. I have heard so many raves about this product (my mom included) so it was nice to finally give it a go. I mix it a bit with another concealer you will see shortly and it creates a great shade for under the eyes and all around my face. It stays put on me with very minimal end of the day creasing.

Milani HD Advanced Concealer 02- Grade: B-

Firstly, I don’t necessarily have a fond-ness for click pens in general. I don’t like them frankly. That’s not why this product borders the B-/C+ range, though. It’s because it’s under eye concealing properties aren’t the best I have seen. It definitely brightens and lightens but it doesn’t completely cover. I do like it on the face, however, and under my eyes on days when I just want a little bit of brightness and not a heavy concealer. It’s also pricier than I would like to see for a drugstore product. Overall it’s one of those YSL touche eclat dupes that does what the YSL ones do, for a fraction of the price. If you have tried the YSL, you know they don’t do squat for concealing…they are really just brightening. This actually does give you some concealing, just not 100% coverage. I still enjoy having this around.

MAC Pro Longwear Concealer NW20- Grade: A+

The.best.concealer.I.have.tried.period!!!!! It’s too light for me right now, and to be honest I think the lady at MAC got me way too light of a shade. I can’t use this on my face for that reason (would look leper-esque) but I was able to use it under my eyes up until the middle of June. Now it’s too light to even use there which is a bummer because I LOVE this stuff. My bottle is about 1/4 gone and I have had it since March. It NEVER creases on me, doesn’t need to be set with anything, blends well, covers everything and it isn’t unreasonably priced. This gets my highest recommendation. Only word of caution: the pump. Because this concealer is pigmented you only need a tiny amount so trust me when I say slowly compress the pump and get just a dab out. A whole pump wastes product. The pump is an after thought for me. I don’t care. A product this good could be sold in a ziplic bag and I would still buy it.

Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer Medium- Grade: B

I got this product in the Tarte Glow Your Way to Gorgeous set on QVC. It will be released on it’s own in the near future. At any rate, it’s thick…soooo thick that you need to rub it on the back of your hand first (Thanks to Amy from The Beauty Call for the tip) to warm it up. First, normally that’s too much work for me. Second, it’s a waste of product because it rubbed into my fingers and into my hand. BUT when it goes on my skin it gives the loveliest finish under my eyes and it really does what it says it’s going to do: not crease! It is moisturizing which is great because everyone could use moisture in the eye area. I docked it a few points for not really being able to use it on my face. I don’t like thick concealers all over my skin….I feel like it would cause break outs.

Swatches L-R: Collection 2000, TheBalm, Milani, MAC, Tarte, Garnier, Sonia Kasuk (all blended), Mally, Benefit

OVERALL PICKS:

I hope this helps you ladies out there in search of a great concealer. The 4 above I wouldn’t want to go through life without!

Oh, and I had to include one dishonorable mention:

ELF Concealer & Highlighter Duo

ELF Under Eye Concealer & Highlighter- Grade: F

It does not conceal and it does not highlight. The consistency is very watery and thin. Totally not worth the money.

Heyy ladies! I just had to share with you some of the best products I have been using for the past month and more. It’s not a secret that I love Mally’s Evercolor Shadow Sticks (I’ve talked about them twice before on my blog). My most used eyeshadow this year is probably the shadow stick in Champagne. But, you may not know about some of the other great products Mally offers. No longer! You ladies need to be paying some attention to this brand. I have gotten more and more into the brands offered on QVC this year because honestly, they are SO fabulous.

A few Mally items I used in this look....

First, I will talk cheeks and lips. After seeing this cheek duo in a set on QVC and seeing a subsequent swatch online I knew this duo had to be mine. You can’t purchase it outside of the ‘Just Heaven’ set right now, but I was able to snag one on eBay just on it’s own.

Mally Beauty Effortless Airbrush Blush and Highlighter

These babies are soft and smooth. They really do blend effortlessly. I find this lasts all day on my skin. The highlighter gives a gorgeous glow that you can see in the swatch and on my face in the pictures below. The cheek color is an amazing peachy-coral-pink that I think would be super flattering across all skin tones. I wouldn’t describe it as shimmer or matte, but more of a satin finish.

Swatches L-R: Effortless Airbrush Hightlighter, Effortless Airbrush Blush, Lipcolor in Delish Apricot*, Lip Magnifier in Blush*

I love how the Delish Apricot lipcolor and blush go so well together. This lipcolor is long wearing and honestly, the color is divine. Exactly the type of thing I love in the summer. I used a bit of the Blush Lip Magnifier to add a bit of sheen to my lips as well. It’s a bit sheer for my normal tastes so it’s not my favorite. But it feels nice on the lips and isn’t sticky.

Shadow Stick Swatches L-R: Nautical, Angel Shimmer, Rosey Taupe*

Nautical and Angel Shimmer are the most recent Mally purchases I made. I had been wanting these shades for awhile. Nautical is great as a base for a smokey eye (YT’s Emily Noel did a great look with this shade) and I used it in this FOTD as a liner. I find that when I use Navy liners it just brightens my eyes so well. I much prefer it over black. Angel Shimmer is a light shade, very feminine and sparkly. Rosey Taupe has less sparkle but is a great all over shade and can be built up for a deeper crease or outer V. I have reviewed these pencils before. They last all day, even if you sleep in them (oops) they are still on when you wake up. I don’t even use primer with these. I just swipe on, blend with my fingers and go.

Poreless Face Defender*

I freakin’ love this product. Powder who? Translucent what? This stuff mattifies on contact and I use it daily over my makeup. It is the best pore minimizer/eraser I have ever used. I use a sponge and dab it in here and then blot/dab onto my face. It keeps me matte longer than any product I used in the past. It doesn’t keep me matte all day, nothing I have tried ever has. But I can appreciate the longevity of this product. It’s not really a cream and it’s not a powder. It’s hard to describe. It’s get kind of a silicone feel, but it’s not like silicone primers. It’s much more thick. My face feels so soft and smooth when I pat this over. I give Mally a big A+ for coming up with such an innovative and unique product. It’s not often I find something that is so different from what I have tried. This is.

I am also loving the Cancellation Conditioning Concealer (my mom uses this as well). It is so blendable and moisturizing for under the eyes, but it turns into almost a powder when you put it on. I didn’t think it would be long-wearing based on it’s moisturizing properties but I was wrong. It competes well with my all time favorite long-wearing concealer by MAC (Pro longwear). I have been using this a lot the month of July. It works better than MAC for face concealing on spots, mostly because it’s a better match for my skintone (my shade is Medium).

Mally FOTD

I love the glow the highlighter and blush are giving me!

All about Mally Eyes...

Also giving another favorite product a run for it’s money is the Mally Volumizing Mascara* which I am wearing here. It works great, gives lots of volume and ‘oomph’ to my lashes. The Givenchy stills feels the best on my lashes (meaning like I don’t have mascara on at all), but Mally doesn’t feel as crunchy as other mascaras I have tried. Also wearing all three of the shadow sticks shown above.

The final result....

Wearing all the products mentioned above. I love the natural glow, the long lasting performance and high quality of the products.You can find Mally on QVC and Mallybeauty.com. She doesn’t ship internationally yet, but I hear they are working on that in the near future!

For three weeks now, every Tuesday night I have been tuning in to Mally’s live Ustream videos (check out her twitter and facebook pages for links and times). The girl is hilarious and she gives great beauty tips AND special offers (like free shipping). Plus, her whole team is a lot of fun to watch.

Have you tried any Mally Beauty products? Have you ever seen Mally on QVC? Girlfriend is awesome!

*Items marked with an (*) were sent for consideration only by PR. The rest I purchased myself. Check out my Disclosure page for more questions.
09. 07. 2011

Ahh, don’t you just love the weekends? Or if you work weekends, your days off? The days when you don’t have to get ready for anything in particular and can pretty much just veg until you are so moved to get up and about. On days like that, I tend to sport the no makeup look. And I don’t mean the no makeup looks like Lisa Eldridge and Sam from Pixiwoo have shown on Youtube recently. I mean ZERO makeup. Moisturizer and chapstick kind of no makeup. The results? Me being brave and showing you my nekkid face….

Aggghh! Nekkid face, not a stitich of makeup, unedited photo!

There was a time (try yesterday) when I would never have wanted to post a picture of myself sans any makeup on my blog. It’s not that I don’t go out in public this way, believe me, I do. I mean, who cares what I look like when I’m thumping watermelons and sampling grapes (tell me the fruit section of grocery store isn’t the most fun place…other than the ice cream section)? But, suddenly, I just changed my mind. I don’t know what made me change my mind or if something just clicked for me, but here I am, au natural. :)

And, what I looked like tonight before dinner (the boy treated me to a lovely night out)…..

All made up!

a view of the eyes...

Product Rundown:

Face:

Eyes:

Lips:

A special thank you to Tiffany from Will Work For Makeup who blazed the trail before me in posting her own naked face several months ago :)

How do you ladies feel about going au natural in public or on your blog?

During the Holiday season QVC ran some great deals on beauty products. Once such deal was the Mally Beauty Waterproof Starlight Deluxe Eyeliner Library for $45. It includes 10 waterproof eyeliners and you get .04 oz of product (the same size as an Urban Decay 24-7 liner). I couldn’t wait to try these out, as I am always looking for new budge proof liners. Take a look at the swatches.

Mally Liner Swatches: Midnight, Caribbean Sea, Espressp, Lucky Penny, Pink Champagne, Sailor, Starshine, Black Cherry, Golden, Royal Plum

Although the colors were slightly less vivid and unique then I had hoped, most gals who have this set would have no problem creating most everyday looks with it. I especially enjoy the Caribbean Sea (sparkling teal) and Pink Champagne liners. They really are budge proof and are a true rival for the quality and staying power of Urban Decay’s 24-7 eyeliners. They glide on very smoothly and don’t drag or tug at all.

This was an incredible value, and although it isn’t available anymore, keep your eyes peeled for Mally’s specials on QVC as they run frequently.